Heat 1 of the Hellenic Cup was a testing race on the Derwent today, testing both sailors' skills and of their patience levels.
While most Dragons got off to a good start in a twelve knot southerly breeze, trouble began when the wind died out just after the start.
The entire fleet was becalmed for a while, and the fleet inched its way around the course. When the late sea breeze came in, it brought light winds and big shifts. Some Dragons found that one side of the course was more favourable than the other side. There were lots of big losses and big place gains throughout the race.
Principal Race Officer Alan Carlisle shortened the course at the third leeward mark, after deciding that none of the boats would finish with in the time limit at the current rate.
The Germans were at the front of the pack today, with Chrisco (Dieter Schoen, Andreas Huber and Vincent Hoesch) coming in first. Chrisco sailed one of the more consistent races of the day, none the less, they still experienced gains and losses within eight places, at one stage jumping six places between two marks.
Ireland's Phantom (John Lavery, Paul Macguire and Peter Bowring) worked their way up from ninth place to finish second.
Third place finishers, Kirribilli II (David Graney, Martin Graney and Murray Jones) sailed the race up and down like yo-yos. After rounding the first mark in seventh position, Kirribilli II dropped back to sixteenth in the middle of the race, before jumping 13 spots to finish third.
Some of previous days' top placers, such as Karabos VIII (TAS), Nanoq (DEN) and Imagination (NSW) finished in the second half of the fleet.
Many Dragon sailors tonight are wishing and hoping that tomorrow's heat brings fair and even winds!